National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Gotta Groove Records

January 31, 2014

Company Info:

Since its inception in 2009, Gotta Groove Records (GGR) has been a “one-stop-shop”.  The company offers pressing high-quality vinyl records, including full service graphic design for printed jackets, sleeves, labels, booklets, download hosting, and other custom packaging.  It also provides warehousing and fulfillment of vinyl record orders.  With Gotta Groove’s help a band could record in complete analog here in Ohio, and then listen to testing pressings and watch their records being made from the Gotta Groove listening room in downtown Cleveland!

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” We are looking forward to NASA’s assistance in helping us analyze how we might improve our record pressing equipment – compression molding equipment that hasn’t been made since the 1970’s.”
—Vince Slusaz, President Gotta Groove Records

Challenge:

The company was working with record presses originally created in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  These presses needed to be modernized to increase production rates.  Three major issues need to be addressed; 1) Alignment between the two halves of the press 2) Temperature control and sensing, and 3) Records sticking to the top of the press when they are finished, rather than falling onto the stack.

Solution:

Gotta Groove Records is pressing high-quality audio vinyl records from old recordings.  Once the challenge was understood, the NASA Electrical engineers worked with the GGR team to design a new positioning device.  They provided a number of options for updating the control systems.  One of the biggest issues engineers addressed was the 30-year-old thermocouples which needed to be replaced.  The record sticking issue was caused by static electricity build up.  this was easily fixed by grounding the release mechanism to the rest of the press.  Instantly the sticking issue was resolved.

Working together, NASA engineers improved productivity by eliminating individual intervention on a per record basis as a result of static electricity gluing records to upper surface of the mold, and by providing more precise, process control of wax and mold temperatures resulting in less machine downtime caused by antiquated controls process breakdown, requiring repair.

Benefits:

As a result of the support from NASA Glenn and the Adopt-A-City program, Gotta Groove Records has implemented technology and processes which have never been used on record pressing equipment anywhere in the world. From engineering components such as process loop controllers or programmable controllers and temperature-controlled dies, to several human quality control measures in place; the level of detail applied to record orders, small and large, is unmatched at any other U.S. pressing plant. The benefits are evident in the new efficiency and a better ability to serve their customer base.